I'm trying to determine generally what's the best way to deal with a question that has answers embedded in it in the form of "Updates".

I'm not talking about a self-answered question in accepted Q & A format. I've found similar questions regarding "commentswers" and such, but nothing that exactly relates to this.

The OP provided an answer that referred to the question. I pointed out that as written it wasn't really an answer and I suggested to the OP doing what I thought was logically correct, (moving the answer content from the question into the answer) which appears to have had the unintended negative consequence of self-deletion of the answer. What would be the recommended course of action when dealing with an issue such as this? Is there something I should have done differently?

  • Few things are black and white. What question are we talking about?
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 20:18
  • @Seth there were a couple of them so I was looking for a general answer.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 20:19
  • Ah thanks, you just reminded me that I had to fix this... askubuntu.com/q/791032/271 :) Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 23:25
  • 1
    @AndreaLazzarotto Drive by Q & A repair. Thank you for your efforts! :-)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 23:47

2 Answers 2


I leave a comment. If there's no response, I edit the question to remove the answer and make it a community wiki answer.

I understood this to be standard practice. Since you can fix it yourself, there's no need to bother mods unless there's some other issue.

  • 7
    Everyone, repeat after me: Since you can fix it yourself, there's no need to bother mods. Since you can fix it yourself, there's no need to bother mods. Since you can fix it yourself, there's no need to bother mods. Seriously though, if you can fix it yourself, do. Mods should only be involved for things the community can't deal with. And that's not only because we're lazy. It's because that way the community is moderating itself and that's what we want to have.
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 10:03
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    Thank you for that clarification Zanna, and @terdon as well.. It fits perfectly what I surmised. I hesitate to involve the busy, overworked moderators in an issue that I can resolve myself (or with the help of the team). I'm happy to report that the issues on both of the related posts I was concerned about have now been resolved (either by OP or team cooperation).
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 15:32
  • Thank you very much for fixing those posts @ElderGeek :D
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 16:06
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    @Zanna I can't take all the credit. All I really did was nudge the OP and ask the team for help. I think anyone who cares about the site and had the time would do the same. :-)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 16:18

Ask Ubuntu doesn't allow this at all. Period. Questions go in questions, answers go in answers. The two should not be mixed.

If we're thinking of the same example, the OP should have split it up and documented their actions in the answer (if not even split into multiple questions).

As we're not really in a position to power through and ... encourage ... users to do these things, it's best that a custom mod flag is raised on the question describing what's going on. Optionally, you can leave a polite comment describing effectively the same thing and see if OP responds to that.

As for mods, they should contact OP first and respectfully request a separation and then step in and do it themselves if the OP is hesitant or unwilling to separate their posts.

  • Thank you for your rapid response. It's never my intent to leave an impolite comment (although granted there's no tone of voice cue in text) and I did leave a comment as I indicated in my question. So you feel it's best that I raise a custom mod flag on posts like this rather than leave a comment?
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:22
  • @ElderGeek I would say that if you could only do one, raise a mod flag. It's good that they're aware of this, and they may have a better idea of fixing it (or the ability to fix it in a worst-case scenario)
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 19:58
  • Of the posts that fit this criteria, one has been resolved by the OP splitting his answer out as I suggested in my comment. The other one I had in mind Is quite close to being closed as non-repro by the community (which is fine as it has little to recommend it as useful to future readers.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 20:09
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    No, please don't raise a mod flag for this. We don't have any more tools for dealing with this than anyone else. If a comment is needed, leave a comment. Otherwise, fix it yourself and post the solution as an answer. Make it Community wiki if you want to be really polite. But don't raise a flag for things that any community member can do.
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 10:02

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